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Editorial: School ‘reform’ debacle taught West Virginians many lessons

From the Herald-Dispatch of Huntington:

Unless a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates finds an obscure legislative rule and is determined to commit political suicide, the omnibus education “reform” bill that originated in the state Senate is dead for this session.

Good riddance.

The bill died last week when the House tabled the most recent version that came from the Senate. The Senate originated the bill and sent it to the House, which amended it and sent it back to the Senate. The Senate amended it again and sent the bill back to the House. The House wisely said, “Enough of this foolishness” and on Tuesday tabled the bill indefinitely.

The bill triggered a two-day walkout by West Virginia’s public school teachers and service employees.

School employees were both winners and losers in this fight. They showed they still have political muscle in the Legislature. As soon as the Senate’s revised version was sent to the House, a strike was called for the next day. Even then, when the House tabled SB 451, employee unions called for a second day of the strike to ensure the bill was indeed dead.

Few groups could pull off such an action. Teachers and service personnel showed that if any reforms are to be considered, they will have a seat at the negotiating table before any legislation is introduced.

The unions showed their power, but it was at the expense of public support. Last year’s strike had the support of the public. This year’s strike burned off some of that good will. Both days of the work stoppage were called in the evening. That gave parents too little time to prepare.

Read the entire editorial at

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